Steptoe & Johnson in recent months has revamped its associate compensation system, clawing back some associate salaries while paying more to others. The move has attracted criticism and notice by some observers, but Steptoe’s leadership insists the changes are based on equity and “fairness” across the associate ranks.

In all, 10 Steptoe associates saw their pay reduced to 80% of their original salary, firm chair Gwen Renigar said in an interview. That’s out of the firm’s roughly 170 associates. As well as the associates who had their pay reduced because of productivity, Renigar said some associates have asked to move to 80% to accommodate life outside of work.